• Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy

Here, I’’ve used fresh cranberries in a fabulous side dish that is guaranteed to complement any Christmas roast. It would work very well with turkey but also beef, lamb or chicken. I love this recipe because it combines the best parts of all the usual festive side dishes – crunchy greens, crispy bacon, sage and cranberries,– but in a slightly different and unusual way.

One of my favourite things about the run up to Christmas is, obviously, the cooking. Specifically, though, I love finding new and unusual ways of using those festive seasonal ingredients that grace our shelves for only a short period of the year.

Cranberries are one of the most criminally underrated of all ingredients. The humble cranberry has a huge amount of culinary potential. If you start to think of it like a raisin, or a pomegranate seed, you begin to realize just how useful it can be in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. They have a beautiful sharpness about them that is fabulous with all sorts of rich ingredients like meat or cheese.

I’’ve also used cavolo nero, one of my absolute favourite seasonal vegetables for its beautiful dark green wavy leaves and delicious, slightly bitter crunch. You could, however, use spring greens or kale if you can’’t find it. The resulting dish is a sweet and sour medley of greens with addictive flavours in every bite: salty, smoky bacon; fragrant sage; those tart berries and earthy onions. You could even serve it on its own with some good cheese or some roasted chestnuts as a light main course. Give those cranberries a new lease of life; you might just find this becomes your go-to festive side dish!


here's what you'll need...

  • 200g green beans, topped and tailed
  • A large bunch of cavolo nero, kale or spring greens, roughly sliced
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 red onions
  • A sprig of fresh sage
  • 75g fresh cranberries
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper

cavolo nero ingredients

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here's how it's done...

  • 1

    First, steam (or boil) the beans and cavolo nero for five minutes until just tender. Set aside.

    cavolo step 1

  • 2

    Finely slice your onion, chop the sage and streaky bacon.

    cavolo step 2

  • 3

    In a large non-stick frying pan or saucepan, fry the bacon over a high heat until crispy. Add the sliced onions and sage to the bacon with the cranberries. Cook over a medium heat until the onions and cranberries have softened.

    Cavolo nero Steps 3 and 4

  • 4

    Return the beans and cavolo nero to the pan, then pour in the maple syrup and red wine vinegar. Cook for a couple of minutes until the liquid has reduced and everything is soft and sticky.

    Cavolo nero Steps 5 and 6

  • 5

    Season well, then serve immediately.

    cavolo post image1


By Elly McCausland on 18.11.13

Guest Contributor

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